All-rounder Matthew Waite says the experience of successfully coping with the ups and downs of their Vitality Blast group campaign can stand Worcestershire Rapids in good stead during the climax of their Metro Bank One Day Cup group programme.
The Rapids won their opening four Blast games, then lost the next four, but bounced back to qualify in impressive fashion for the quarter-finals with a successful conclusion to the North Group.
Now they are preparing for a similar scenario as they bid to go through to the knockout stages from their One Day Cup group after winning three of the first four games but then losing to Warwickshire at New Road on Sunday.
The Rapids face three games in five days with back-to-back away fixtures with Northamptonshire Steelbacks tomorrow (Wednesday) and Derbyshire Falcons (Friday) before taking on Sussex Sharks at New Road on Sunday.
Waite, who scored 44 against Warwickshire, said: “We’ve shown before this season that we can bounce back. We’d probably say Sunday was a disappointing performance in one of our biggest games so far.
“But we started this competition quite well and, if we can finish it well, we will still be in a good place.
“Things can see saw, and games like Sunday can happen. It happened in the T20 but I guess after eight games we will see where we are, and I think we’ll be up there qualifying.
“You can have ups and downs and it’s where you are at the end of the group.
“We’ve got three games in five days, they come around quickly and will give us a chance to put in a performance on Wednesday.
“Can the experience from the Blast stand us in good stead? Yes, at the start we’ve done really well, struggled at Somerset and came back really well.
“We’ve shown we can bounce back and we will do.”
Head Coach Alan Richardson said: “One of the strengths of this group is the amount of resilience that we have shown in terms of sometimes we haven’t always performed very well this season, but we’ve always come back.
“In red-ball cricket, we’ve made sure that we had an opportunity to draw a game, which we’ve done, and in white ball cricket, we’ll do exactly the same.
“On Wednesday we get an opportunity to play another game of cricket.
“In terms of the schedule, we always knew it was going to be fairly full on. It’s an opportunity for the squad. We’ll keep having to rotate players in and out but I’ll always be confident with whatever 11 we put out that we’ll put a performance in which gives us a chance to win that game of cricket.”
Judged by past history, the Rapids will probably need two more wins to reach the knockout stages.
Richardson said: “I try not to think too much about that. I think the challenge for the group will be to perform really well three times and if we come out on the right side a couple of times, then that gives us the opportunity to qualify.
“It would be nice to win all three wouldn’t it, but first and foremost let’s put in some really good performances, whether it be individuals but more importantly as a team.”
By Sunday evening the Rapids would have played eight games in 19 days after coming straight off the back of a LV=Insurance County Championship game against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham which went to the final hour.
Richardson said: “It’s the same for all the other 17 counties as well but it’s not just the physical fatigue but the emotional side. The guys invest a lot of themselves in these games.
“Whether it’s an easy win, or a hard fought win, you come off pretty drained. You set yourself up for the game, you’ve then been out there for a long period of time and concentrating and charging around in the outfield etc, bowling and batting.
“For us, it’s been important to recharge, and then we’ll have a practice day on Tuesday and get ourselves ready for Wednesday.”
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